The Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 of Mike Simpson continued to lead the Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone as the third hour passed. The factory prototype reclaimed the lead of the race twenty minutes into the second hour after the Radical Motorsport RXC V8 hit problems, pulling to the pit wall after an ECU malfunction.
The story of the two hours was one of stabilisation, and penalties. The race settled down into a rhythm of lapping and pit stops for all, except for the Red Camel – Jordans.nl car.
The real fight for position was between the Speedworks Motorsport Aston Martin and their brand rivals Beechdean Motorsport. This battle ran and ran throughout the two hours, with little change. Only a cruelty of the timing screen shows a laps difference at three hours, though Beechdean managed to split the class battle with the #15 Topcats Marcos from class 2.
In class 1 it was a battle to loose. The Ginetta continued to set a blistering pace though neither Sir Chris Hoy nor Mike Simpson could match the impressive fast lap set by Charlie Robertson in the first stint. Behind them the #14 Marco Schelp Porsche 997 GT3 Cup impressed early on before a short pit stop ended in a stop and go. Speeding in the pit lane by Michael Tischner turned that 26 second stop and hold into a second penalty for a similar time.
The #8 Simpson Motorsport Audi R8 LMS was also flying for the first couple of hours. Stephen Richie dropped it into the gravel at the Loop however which occasioned a slightly early pit stop. The Audi sat two laps off the Ginetta at the close of the third hour with the Schelp Porsche somehow in third.
Class 2 was the sole preserve of MARC Cars Australia and their Ford Focus. In fourth at the end of the third hour, a lap clear of the class 1 Ferrari of MJC, the silhouette racer dominated after initially dropping down the order. The seventh placed Topcats Marcos and thirteenth placed Team Russia by Barwell Motorsport MARC Focus round out the second class.
Behind the battling Beechdean and Speedworks car comes the Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora, who led for a long time at the start of the race but lost out when they needed to pit, round out class 3.
Class 4 was all about the SEATs with Bas Koeten Racing and SICL.com split by just seconds at points throughout the stint. The #50 Dutch machine eventually triumphed in the intra-brand scrap, taking a buffer zone of the delayed Radical RXC and and Cor Euser Lotus into hour number four. Nick Barrow‘s Saxon Motorsport BMW 135d took third in the class after capitolising on the frugal diesel. The SEATs had clocked up two stops by the end of the three hours while the BMW was just settling into the start of its second stint.
After two hours and fifty-four minutes, the Red Camel – Jordans.nl SEAT Leon diesel took its first pit stop. That impressive longevity combined with a self destruction in the other two class runners assured them of a class lead at three hours. The WEC Motorsport SEAT hit the pits not long into the second hour and the team set to work on a gearbox change. The Mensley Motorsport Ford Fiesta plodded along at the back of the pack quite merrily, stopping with alarming regularity until they cut a stop too short, attracting a penalty. The car slipped into the garage in the third hour and shows no sign of coming out.
2015 Dunlop 24 Hours at Silverstone overall standings after 3 hours:
1 – #12 Team LNT Ginetta – C1 – Lawrence Tomlinson/Chris Hoy/Mike Simpson/Charlie Robertson/Gaetan Paletau
2 – #8 Simpson Motorsport Audi – C1 – Peter Cook/Phillip Hopkins/Franck Pelle/Adam Sharpe/ Stephen Ritchie
3 – #14 Marco Schelp Porsche – C1 – Marco Schelp/Michael Tischner/Willie Moore/Jim Geddie/Glynn Geddie
4 – #91 MARC Cars Australia Ford – Tom Onslow-Cole/Ben Gersekowski/Paul White/Gary Jacobsen
5 – #4 MJC Ferrari – C1 – Witt Gamski/Joe Macari/Rory Butcher/Phil Dryburgh
Other Class leaders
Class 3 – #35 Beechdean Motorsport – Andrew Howard/Jonny Adam/Ross Gunn/Jamie Chadwick/Harry Webb (6th overall)
Class 4 – #50 Bas Koeten Racing – Karel Gils Bessen/roger Grouwels/Harry Hilders (9th overall)
Class 5 – #62 Red Camel – Jordans.nl – Ivo Breukers/Rick Breukers/Sjaco Griffoen (22nd overall)